aside US Has Acted On Plans To Impose Sanctions On Russian Oligarchs On The 6th Of April 2018

Note: This is an update to an earlier post about US Plans to impose sanctions against Russian oligarchs.

Reuters reported earlier this week that the White House planned to announce sanctions against Russian Oligarchs. It is about time. To date, the vast majority of experts on the subject of Russia have been critical over the US lukewarm retaliatory response to Russia after it has been conclusively proven, that its operatives successfully launched a full throttle cyber/ propaganda attack against the US voting/ elections infrastructure in 2016, in order to sow chaos and discord among the American peoples and to effect the outcome. Then there is the Russian execution by nerve gas against a Russian ex-pat and his daughter who were living in the UK.

On the 6th of April 2018, the US has finally enacted some serious sanctions that will cause some real pain against certain Russian oligarchs, many who are friends of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

Here’s the million dollar question: Will there be a leak from Russia with love regarding President Trump?

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Here’s the rest of the story…  

On April 6, 2018, Gardiner Harris of the New York Times penned the following report, “Trump Administration Imposes New Sanctions on Putin Cronies”

Excerpts:

“The Trump administration imposed new sanctions on seven of Russia’s richest men and 17 top government officials on Friday in the latest effort to punish President Vladimir V. Putin’s inner circle for interference in the 2016 election and other Russian aggressions.

“The sanctions are designed to penalize some of Russia’s richest industrialists, who are seen in the West as enriching themselves from Mr. Putin’s increasingly authoritarian administration.”

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“They grow out of an oddly disjointed policy toward Russia on the part of the Trump administration: While President Trump continues to call for good relations with Mr. Putin, Congress and much of the rest of the administration are pushing through increasingly punitive efforts that are sinking relations with Moscow to lows not seen in years.”

“The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “Russian oligarchs and elites who profit from this corrupt system will no longer be insulated from the consequences of their government’s destabilizing activities.”

“Among those sanctioned are Oleg V. Deripaska, an oligarch who once had close ties to Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort.”

“Also sanctioned was Suleiman Kerimov — a financier close to Mr. Putin; Vladimir Bogdanov, a top executive of Surgutneftegaz, a Russian oil company; Igor Rotenberg, another oil executive; Kirill Shamalov, an energy executive who married Mr. Putin’s daughter, Katerina Tikhonova; Andrei Skoch, a deputy of the Russian Federation’s State Duma; and Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of the Renova Group, a Russian investment firm.””

“The sanctions have been under consideration for some time and were not imposed solely because of the recent poisoning in England but rather “in response to the totality of the Russian government’s ongoing and increasingly brazen pattern of malign activity around the world,” a senior administration official said in a conference call with reporters, adding: “But most importantly this is in response to Russia’s continuing attack to subvert Western democracies.”

“Friday’s penalties could be particularly painful for Mr. Putin’s regime. While Russia’s oligarchs make nearly all of their money in Russia, many stash their families, lovers and much of their wealth in places like London, New York and Miami.”

“Targeted sanctions against the oligarchs are seen as a particularly good way to punish Mr. Putin’s aggressive moves while sparing wider Russian society, which is already suffering under Mr. Putin’s thumb.”

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“The sanctions list will only hasten the slide of Washington-Moscow relations. This week, 60 American diplomats left Russia as part of a tit-for-tat series of expulsions that followed the nerve-gas poisoning of Sergei V. Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter.”

“Mr. Skripal’s poisoning on British soil prompted more than 20 countries to expel more than 100 Russian diplomats and intelligence officers, the largest such coordinated action ever. British officials believe that Mr. Skripal’s poisoning, which occurred after an assassin smeared a nerve agent on the door handle of his home, was such a risky operation that it is unlikely to have been undertaken without approval from the Kremlin.”

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“But the attack is seen as part of a pattern of increasingly aggressive moves by Mr. Putin, including the seizure of Crimea, military interventions in Georgia, Ukraine and Syria, tacit support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical attacks on his own populace, a direct attack by Russian mercenaries on American troops in Syria and the hacking of elections in the United States and Europe.”

“The Trump administration’s responses to Mr. Putin’s needling have been uneven. Although Congress gave the State Department $120 million in 2016 to counter Russian hacking efforts, the department has so far spent none of it. And Mr. Trump said this week that he wants American forces to leave Syria soon, an exit that would benefit Iran, Russia and its ally, Mr. Assad.”

“But the administration has also imposed considerable economic penalties on Russia, with Friday’s action the latest in a string of similar moves.”

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On April 4, 2018, John Walcott and Jonathan Landay of Reuters penned the following report, “U.S. plans to sanction Russian oligarchs this week: sources”

Excerpts:

“The United States plans to sanction Russian oligarchs this week under a law targeting Moscow for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, in potentially the most aggressive move so far against the country’s business elite.”

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OLIGARCHS

“The action, which could affect people close to President Vladimir Putin, reflects Washington’s desire to hold Russia to account for allegedly interfering in the election – which Moscow denies – even as U.S. President Donald Trump holds out hope for good relations with Putin.”

“Trump has faced fierce criticism for doing too little to punish Russia for the election meddling and other actions, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is probing whether his campaign colluded with the Russians, an allegation the president denies.”

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“The sanctions, which two sources said would be announced as early as Thursday (4/5/18), would follow the March 15 U.S. decision to sanction 19 people and five entities, including Russian intelligence services, for cyber attacks stretching back at least two years.”

“(President Trump’s) decision at the time not to target oligarchs and government officials close to Putin drew criticism from U.S. lawmakers in both parties.”

“This week’s actions will include sanctions against Russian oligarchs, including some with ties to Putin as well as to the Russian government, according to 2 U.S. officials.”

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“Four sources said the sanctions would be imposed under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, also known as CAATSA, which was passed by Republicans and Democrats seeking to punish Russia for its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, involvement in the Syrian civil war and meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”

“The White House and Treasury declined comment on whether they planned to impose sanctions this week.”

16 comments

  1. Dear Gronda, peace and love to you and yours. Thankyou for your efforts, I so appreciate your posts that I go nowhere else with regards US. I wish it would all end quickly, but there will be some tears for sure in the near future. Mr Meuller has to play a strong hand when (and if) he can. I feel that Mrs Clinton should not have used the term “deplorables”. I think the Democrats will have big swing come November, (all things going well). But the damage has (is) being done and will mark the end of old order. This is not a bad thing. But also is not good.
    A paradigm shift is in the making. Zeitgeist.
    Hugs mate.

    • Dear Gary J,

      I do agree with everything you say. There is this one gift that the US has which is history and the knowledge that we have overcome worse times.

      I came of age 1968. This was the year two major political figures were assassinated within a couple of months apart. They were Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, the brother of President Kennedy who had been assassinated 5 years earlier. This was the year President Nixon was first elected.

      After Martin Luther King was killed many cities broke out in major riots. In Chicago, there was the Democratic Convention where anti-Vietnam War protests went on for days. The protesters were not treated well.

      It was only a couple years later when there was a student anti-Vietnam war protest where 4 students were gunned down by US national guard shooters.

      There was a Trump like figure who ran for the presidency in 1968. He was the racist Governor of Alabama George Wallace.

      Then about 4 years later, there was the start of the Watergate hearings.

      We will overcome this nightmare as well.

      Hugs, Gronda

    • Dear Holly,

      This is like a shot gun wedding. The president has no choice but to act his part. Yes, there have to be those who are sitting on the president on this.

      Hugs, Gronda

  2. Thanks for this post, Gronda. Much has been said about Trump’s failure to act against Russia and to put in place tactics that will foil Russian attempts to meddle in U.S. elections in the future. Why would he? They propelled him into the White House. He’s grateful and looking forward to a repeat performance in 2020. The Dems capturing control of both Houses of Congress in November would make him sit up and smell the roses.

    • Dear John Fioravanti,

      I’m under no illusion. President Trump is frightened to death of President Putin of Russia. I suspect that President Putin has the power to make President Trump’s life even more miserable if he chose to act.

      The president has somehow been forced to act. He’s been told that if he doesn’t act, he will not be respected by the Russian leader which is the kiss of death to a bully.

      I would love to know the rest of the story as there’s a piece of the puzzle missing.

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. Gronda, this is long overdue and my guess it is being done to show Trump is not guilty of collusion. I think he heard the criticism of his inaction. What still is missing is to call Putin on the carpet for leading the cause. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      You and I both know that President Trump is not willingly taking action against Russia. Someone must have told him he looks weak by not taking on President Putin and what is worse, President Putin has no respect for those who don’t do this.

      The culture is very different. The president has no option but to play hardball. But I suspect that the president has his reasons.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Gronda, he has a risk that other Presidents don’t have. Putin knows things about him and can easily turn the meddling onto him. So, this may be a reason he won’t call Putin on the carpet. Keith

  4. “The sanctions, which two sources said would be announced as early as Thursday (4/5/18), would follow the March 15 U.S. decision to sanction 19 people and five entities, including Russian intelligence services, for cyber attacks stretching back at least two years.”

    Gronda, didn’t the House Intelligence Committee ended the Russian probe? They declared verdict of “No Evidence Of Collusion”.

    Unless this is more fake news:

    http://deadline.com/2018/03/house-intelligence-committee-ends-russian-probe-no-evidence-of-collusion-1202336512/

  5. Gronda, perhaps i’m missing the big picture… but aren’t these Russian “sanctions” meaningless? So what if Russian oligarchs and 17 top government officials are forbidden to do business with the West? There’s already a Russian law in effect stating that all Russian gov’t officials are forbidden to hold assets and conduct business outside of the country. Russian oligarchs made their billions doing business in Russia, certainly not in the US.

    So how are we hurting Putin but imposing these worthless sanctions? I believe President Putin is laughing at our feeble attempt to impose economic hardship.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly joked that his exclusion from a U.S. Treasury Department list of Russian oligarchs was “offensive.”

    Putin added that the creation of the list is “indisputably an unfriendly act.”

    The list, released Monday by the Treasury Department, includes various political figures in Russia who are close to the Kremlin, but not Putin himself.

    “In effect, all 146 million of us have been put on some list,” Putin said, as reported by Bloomberg.

    The 65-year-old Russian president – who is running for re-election – quoted an old proverb, “the dogs bark but the caravan goes on,” to play down the significance of Washington’s sanctions.

    http://thehill.com/policy/international/russia/371363-putin-jokes-it-was-offensive-he-wasnt-on-oligarchs-list

  6. Dear 1EartUnited,

    The US House Intelligence committee did disband but most of us had figured out long ago that those republicans conducting the hearings were not seriously in pursuit of the truth. There is still the US Senate Intelligence committee and the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe led by the Special Counsel Mueller which are serious investigations.

    Hugs, Gronda

  7. Dear !EarthUnited,

    Too many of the Russian Oligarchs have ignored the rules and they have moved some of their monies outside of Russia .

    Actually, they have moved lots of monies outside of Russia. This means that these oligarchs will experience some pain.

    Thanks for the references.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Yes, agreed that Russian oligarchs moved billions out of Russia in the nineties when the Soviet Union broke up, leaving Russia was in dire financial straits. Many oligarchs settled throughout Europe, esp in London!

      Since the proposed sanctions to target Russian oligarchs back in Dec. 2017, many oligarchs actually BEGGED Putin to allow them to repatriate their assets back home.

      Russian billionaires living in Britain have begged Vladimir Putin to be allowed back into Russia without being arrested.

      It is understood that more than ten oligarchs have contacted the Kremlin asking for safe repatriation back home after fleeing the country to escape court proceedings.

      It comes amid a crackdown in Britain on businessmen suspected of corruption who cannot account for how they accumulated their vast wealth.

      Last week it was announced that Russian oligarchs suspected of corruption will be forced to account for their luxury lifestyles in the UK in a new crackdown on crime.

      Security minister Ben Wallace said the ‘full force of government’ would be brought to bear on foreign criminals and corrupt politicians who use Britain as a haven.

      Officials will use new unexplained wealth orders – which came into effect this week – to seize suspicious assets and hold until they have been properly accounted for.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5352661/Russian-billionaires-London-beg-Putin-return-home.html

      (Bloomberg) — President Vladimir Putin is using the threat of additional U.S. sanctions to encourage wealthy Russians to repatriate some of their overseas assets, which exceed $1 trillion USD by one estimate.

      Putin told lawmakers late Monday that a new capital amnesty program was needed “given the foreign restrictions, which instead of lessening are now worsening,” according to a transcript posted on the Kremlin’s website. This “should stimulate the return of capital to Russia,” the president said, without specifying how long the measure will last.

      “People should feel comfortable and secure and it shouldn’t involve additional expenses,” Putin said Tuesday at a Cabinet meeting where he ordered officials to finalize the plan.

      http://nationalpost.com/news/world/putin-tries-to-get-oligarchs-to-send-1-trillion-home-to-russia-as-threat-of-sanctions-looms

      • It almost seems the sanctions have an opposite effect of repatriating oligarch funds back into Russia…. so how does that hurt Putin, the Russian economy or morale? Perhaps Trump is doing Putin a favor! Putin wins again in geopolitical chess.

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